Before I even met you I felt your style creeping into me, and I warded it off. Unhealthy. This morning, because it's monday and it's gray, I'm hammering the locks off all the steel doors and letting it run rampant.

You're barely here anyway. One of us might as well be you.

Firstly, I owe you. Not for the music or the sugar or the paper or even the time. For the imagination, mine, which you awakened. I suspected it could be like this, on my best days. Just walking down the street and each tiny detail is a wealth of stories waiting to flower. Somehow you can twist any sentence into a nugget of pure fun, and if I ever reciprocated, I was only rising to your challenge. This is how we talk until our bodies beg from exhaustion. That's rare.

My problem is now I can't seem to get back that vision. I've been diving into distractions, DVDs and RPGs, dozens of hours gone and still this unsettlement is stuck in me. Patterns of behavior I in my Dave Sim days would snidely label feminine, denial and avoidance now that everything is a minefield, because everyone loves you, even people who don't know who you are. This hurt is supposed to fade, and I know it's boring to go on about it, it bores me to sleep, but what the hell, why doesn't it fade.

I think crucial parts of my body are convinced that this is all just a video game. Once a month or so I get to escape into the Matrix, where we're all fabulous superheroes, then I get locked back in the workweek. So it's not like my powers carry over or feel at all real. I cling to ciphers, tokens. Regardless of context or content, the true meaning is, this girl I know sent it to me. She exists. It's sad that still needs confirmation.

So it's probably because none of the formalities happened in person. I'm missing some eye contact in the equation, or maybe a calm voice, that accent you don't think you have. That must be why I'm not letting go, why I'm not even crying.

Kissing your neck, feeling your fingers on my beard, hearing that one lonely snore rip just before you wake. I didn't get the chance to tell myself, OK This is the Last One. I thought there would be more, I really did. And look, I'm not surprised I screwed up, bad. I am surprised how long I lasted, you believing I was all good things, super sensitive. But I never lied to you, and I never could.

This is how I see you, sometimes: a queen too lazy to pick up the scepter. What today, miss? Invade Spain? Crush the dollar? Or just play in the cake room? Yawn, no thanks, I'm staying in bed. Wake me when the bolsheviks break in, tell them I'm sorry, I suck.

You have made hiding an art. All of your games within pranks within masks within secrets are cute because they're annoying, because I know about your gift for directness. But the day that you wake up and figure out exactly what you already are, we are all doomed to joy. And maybe anyone has that power, but a bunch of us know for sure that you do.

I don't know what you're thinking. I don't know what I need. I definitely don't know if this is fair. But you wanted those words of yours attached to my name, well here you go, genuinely sorry if it's a bit much. Pin Clemenade and a thousand more names I would have called you. One more enormous thing.

Near my house there's a river below a bridge supporting a tower. One of the two red lights 315 ft up has gone out. I wonder whose job it is to fix it, change that giant bulb. We don't need any more airplane trouble in this city.

These days, you're barely here. I laugh less. I keep bumping into the litter strewn around by your careless genius. I still can't leave this place.

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